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Planning privacy notice

Planning, Policy and Development Control Team

Staffordshire County Council (‘the data controller’) has a privacy notice to explain how we collect, use, store your personal data, what you can expect when we process your data, and what your rights are.

This privacy notice explains who we are, what we do, and how we obtain and use information in the course of our work.

Who we are and what we do

How we obtain information

What we do with information

How we share information

Redaction (‘blanking things out’)

Retention (‘how long we keep information for’)

Complaints and more information 




Who we are and what we do

We carry out the work of Staffordshire County Council in its role as the County Planning Authority.

Our work includes: 

  • Making decisions and providing advice on planning applications related to minerals and waste development, and development by the county council
  • Making minerals and waste planning policies
  • Working with the Staffordshire borough / district councils and neighbouring councils on planning related matters
  • Responding to planning related consultations
  • Entering legal agreements and contesting appeals in connection with the work we do 

More information is available on our planning pages.

How we obtain information

We receive information with planning applications and when preparing and updating our policies, in various ways: 

  1. It is supplied to us directly (or via a planning agent on their behalf) or we receive it from the Planning Portal.

  2. We receive information, consultation responses and data from other parts of the County Council e.g. Highways Development Control and Environmental Advice Teams. We also receive information, comments, representations, consultation responses and data from external parties including members of the public and statutory and non-statutory consultees e.g. local residents, the Staffordshire Borough / District Councils, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Environment Agency.

  3. We generally receive information, representations, consultation responses, concerns and data via email, on paper and through our on-line Citizen Portal (provided by Agile Applications Ltd) and on-line policy comment forms. Occasionally we may also receive comments and information verbally in person, by telephone and in photographs and video/audio recordings

What we do with information

To allow us to advise on and determine planning applications, consider representations, consultations responses, concerns, and develop our planning policies, we must collect and maintain some personal data (e.g. name, address, contact details). Generally, due to the nature of the work we do, we would not normally expect to receive “special category data” (e.g. information about medical history, political persuasion, union membership or ethnic origin). However, please note that we cannot consider anonymous / private / confidential comments. 

We use the information provided to us to advise on and make decisions about the use of land in the public interest. This is known as a “public task” and is why we do not need you to “opt in” to allow your information to be used. 

The relevant Staffordshire Borough / District Councils are required under the Town and Country Planning Act regulations to make some of the information provided to us available on a planning register. A planning register is a permanent record of our planning decisions that form part of the planning history of a site. We also maintain a planning register of our planning decisions and publish those decisions on-line via our Citizen Portal (provided by Agile Applications Ltd)  and, as explained below, we share that information with the Borough / District Councils. 

How we share information

We share information with Agile Applications Ltd who provide our back office planning system and on-line Citizen Portal. We (and Agile Applications Ltd) do not sell the information we hold to other organisations. We (and Agile Applications Ltd) do not move your information beyond the UK. We (and Agile Applications Ltd) do not use the information for marketing purposes or to make automated decisions. 

We share information on planning applications with the relevant Staffordshire Borough / District Council who, as explained above, have the statutory responsibility to maintain the planning register for their area. 

We make details of planning applications and our draft planning policies available online so that people and organisations can comment on them. We often need to share the information we have. For example, to obtain comments we share that information with other parts of the County Council, members of the public, statutory and non-statutory consultees, and with the Planning Inspectorate if our decision is appealed. This is to comply with the statutory requirements in the Town and Country Planning Act development management procedure regulations and local plan preparation regulations (and subsequent regulations). Anyone who receives information from us has the same legal duty to manage the information fairly, correctly and safely in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 

We may also send out a follow-up “how did we do?” survey to a sample of people using our services to see how we can improve them. 

Redaction (‘blanking things out’) 

We now operate a policy where we routinely redact the following details before making forms and documents available online:

  • Personal contact details for the applicant / agent e.g. telephone numbers, email addresses
  • Signatures
  • Special Category Data - e.g. supporting statements that include information about medical history, political persuasion or union membership or ethnic origin
  • Information agreed to be confidential 

Sometimes we may decide it is necessary, justified and lawful to disclose data that appears in the list above. In these circumstances we will let you know of our intention before we publish anything. 

We do not redact original application forms and documents which are available to be read and copied by all at our offices, including but not limited to the public, or the press (subject to copyright restrictions and photocopying charges which may apply). 

If you are submitting information which you would like to be treated confidentially or wish to be specifically withheld from the public register, please let us know as soon as you can - ideally in advance of submitting the application / making your comments. The best way to contact us about this issue is by email to planning@staffordshire.gov.uk 

Retention (‘how long we keep information for’)

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy. This is a summary of how long we must keep things before they may be destroyed: 

  • Planning register (e.g. planning decisions, approved plans and legal agreements) – for ever
  • Supporting documents, reports – 6 years for committee decisions, 4 years for officer decisions
  • Representations, letters, general correspondence – 4 years

More information is available in our records retention schedules

Complaints and more information

Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right to withdraw consent. However, if you think we have got something wrong or there is a reason you would prefer for something to not be disclosed please ask us by email to planning@staffordshire.gov.uk

If you have any general questions about our privacy policy, information we hold about you, or if you have a complaint about privacy or misuse of personal data please email our Data Protection Officer - DPO@staffordshire.gov.uk

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

More information about how to request and access personal information is available on our web site.

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